Sgwarnog: In the Field

By sgwarnog

Bradford Millennium Way, Part 2

of romance
in Brontë country

After starting this walk a couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to do my second stage, which took me from Cullingworth, via Denholme and Oxenhope, to Haworth.

Picking up where I left off, at Hallas Bridge, the squirrels were active, and a Grey Wagtail obliged by being my first year tick of the day. The route then took me under the iconic Hewenden Viaduct, which recently featured in @earthdreamer's Tracks blip, which was riding high at the top of the favourites page for most of this week.

In Denholme, the walk took me past Denholme Clough Primitive Methodist Burial Ground, which is in a sad derelict state, but worth an exploration. Rising to Denholme Edge I had my last view of Baildon Moor, where I started stage 1 of the walk. The stretch across to Thornton Moor Reservoir was the bleakest part, not helped by the driving rain at that point, but did provide a fine encounter with a large flock of lapwings.

This view is from the descent of Thornton Moor, toward Leeming Reservoir, Oxenhope and the Worth Valley, and was the only point at which the day brightened a little. This was my favourite bit of the walk today, definitely a place to return to in finer weather.

Leeming Reservoir was in an attractive spot. Flanked by an imposing mill, and with a distinctive blue water tower, it also gave me my first Oystercatcher sighting of the year, with a pair looking settled in.

The section through Oxenhope was mainly field walking, flitting in and out of various hamlets around the village. A flock of twenty Curlew had settled off Shaw Lane, and near Marsh Common a gaggle of Pink-footed Geese made for another year tick.

By the time I got onto Penistone Hill and the descent into Haworth the rain and gloom had thickened again. I enjoyed the stone books that were embedded in the moor at various points, and the first public footpath signs that I'd seen that included a Japanese translation, but by this time I was hurrying to catch the first of three buses home. I'll get to walk the stretch back out from Haworth at the start of the next leg though, whenever that will be.

The gloom and the odd rain shower meant that it wasn't a great day for wildlife spotting, so the bird list list for the walk didn't move on very far from the 34 I saw on the first stage. Just 24 species today, with only four new ones to add to the first stage, bringing the walk list to 38.

The walk is taking me out to parts of the District that I haven't spent time in before, and is showing the variety of places we have in such a small area. The next stage will take me north back to the River Aire.

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